On Your Mark, Get Set, Develop!
Oxford Handbook of Austrian Economics, Forthcoming
Posted: 30 Sep 2012
Date Written: September 29, 2012
One of the lingering questions for development economists is the question of economic transition and whether or not development can be promoted by a strong political leader. Earlier writings on leadership and economic development tend to fall into one of two camps: (1) Leaders matter and can contribute positively to economic growth; or (2) leaders seldom have positive effects and, at best, can avoid doing a great deal of harm. This article establishes a third option — a middle ground position — between these two views. Good leadership can, indeed, have a positive effect on economic growth, but only during the initial moment when economic reform is “up for grabs.” Once the opportunity to implement sweeping reform has passed, interests become entrenched and the opportunity for growth enhancing reform passes. Bad leaders, on the other hand, can hamper economic growth in periods well beyond the ideal reform moment.
Keywords: Economic Development, Leadership, Economic Growth, Reform, Political Economy
JEL Classification: O21, B53, F54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation